Ingenious Citizenship: Recrafting Democracy for Social Change
Trans People, Morphing Technologies, and Appropriating Gendered Citizenship
Chapter 4 reads trans people’s practices of transgendering as resorting to the adoption of morphing technologies to appropriate the gender script of liberal citizenship. The idea of morphing differs from Judith Butler’s notion of queer performativity in that, while the latter ultimately dissuades subjects from complicity in reinscribing gender binary, the former accentuates the creative use of complicity in the heteronormative capitalist economy as key to strengthen queer disruption and trans social change. The chapter distinguishes between two interpenetrating modes of morphing technologies adopted by trans people to disrupt and appropriate liberal gender citizenship: “morphing in” (when trans people morph into the binary category of M or F) and “morphing out” (when trans people morph out of the conventional trajectory of M or F). These ingenious uses of morphing technologies engender lessons for a political reorientation of trans activism that proceeds in a contingent and fluid relation to transgender rights.